Guerlain L'Homme Ideal Cologne seems to have a great reputation in the community and largely lives up to it; it's a nuanced, interesting, fresh variation on the original L'Homme Ideal EDT. The Cologne consists of a bright opening of mixed citruses (grapefruit, orange, bergamot) drying down to a mix of pink pepper, almond, white musk, and vetiver (in order of prominence, to my nose). It has a bit of a petitgrain vibe to in that there's something hearty and starchy about it, a bit of a richness underlying the citrus top.
At retail pricing (I assume in the $70-100 range for 100ml), it was probably a little overpriced but it's quite nice in the $50-or-lower range for a 100ml bottle, an interesting fresh cologne type but with some intrigue, not unlike a Dior Homme Cologne (not in terms of the scent itself, but in impact), in that respect, but certainly a little less bright and more grounded in the earthiness of the base.
Overall, it's a nice blend and one I'd recommend if it can be obtained at a reasonable price. It performs fairly well but not above an average designer fresh/warm weather scent. It starts out bright and then dries down fairly quickly to a more balanced vibe between the lingering bright citrus top notes and slightly thicker heart/base. I'm definitely glad to have a bottle.
Opens with anise, sort of like Spicebomb's top notes. Doesn't turn spicy at all though fyi. It's probably the white amber accord giving an anise feel to it.
There's a very zesty orange underneath. Mildly woodsy base. Likeable.
Herbal, soft, and sweet at heart. You know like some green scents keep a gourmand heart (e.g. Le Male). It fits nicely in that genre but it's not for me. Does feel like a 2000-2005 release to me I have to say. Not very modern.
In the drydown, instead of retaining that anise, it morphs into what smells to me like a an imaginary transparent honey would.
Agave syrup is what comes to mind. I personally don't get almond.
I'm very late in discovering the entire Ideal line. Call me a snob, but I haven't engaged with Guerlain's new scents since Heritage. I'm old school - Vetiver, Habit Rouge and Heritage. A friend was shocked that I had never tied Ideal, and send me generous samples of Cologne and the EDP.
I had 'bottle sniffed' them both in duty free and turned my nose up at them. Now I regret that. I've been wearing the Cologne for three days straight, and just can't get enough of it. I love a great classic cologne, this adds the almond note that is just wonderful. Since its a bit too warm still for the EDP, I spritz it on my handkerchief and have been sniffing all day. I can't wait for the temperature drop. Is it in league with the classics? Probably not. Is it much better than most new designer fragrances? yes.
This stuff is great! If you like Dior Homme Cologne and Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche, chances are very good that you will like Guerlain L'Homme Ideal Cologne. I pick up Grapefruit, Almond, Neroli, Vetiver, and Musk. For me, the projection is moderate and the longevity is good. I sprayed on 4 sprays in the morning and I can still smell this the next morning when I get in the shower. I was sad to hear this was discontinued, and I'm considering picking up another bottle while I still can at a reasonable price.
After having exhausted a bottle of this fragrance just today, I cannot but feel a sense of relief. No longer do I have to put in the taxing effort of trying to like this fragrance. Not that it's a BAD fragrance, mind you - it's perfectly serviceable, simple, sweet, and generally pleasant. But I can't help but feel let down, especially considering the fat hype train for this juice. I am a huge Guerlain fan, and a huge fan of the L'Homme Ideal line, but sadly this is second to last in my reckoning, right above the dreadful Sport. I've been trying to convince myself that I enjoy this fragrance ever since I got it in August. I live in Taiwan, so it's damn hot. I thought that this would be perfect for the scorching days of the Taiwanese summer and autumn. But I was sorely mistaken - this fragrance was utterly obliterated what felt like mere moments after stepping out of the door into the humidity-soaked Formosan air. I have never gotten even decent performance out of this fragrance, despite overspraying in an office environment. In terms of scent profile, it is, as I previously mentioned, pleasing, but in no way surprising or unique. Creamy citrus has been done many times before, most notably by Chanel with their Edition Blanche and most masterfully by Xerjoff with Uden. Surprisingly both are leaps and bounds above the Guerlain in terms of performance and overall scent character in my estimation. The almond does add some...flair, I suppose, of some kind, but its voice is not all THAT recognizable in the choir. This is not a fragrance with much (or any) evolution. Nor can one detect different notes in the composition beyond citruses, light almond, and maybe a smidgen of musk. Vetiver is listed, as is neroli, and these are tragically nowhere to be found. The overall scent character, on first spray, reminded me of a Haribo lemon gummy bear. I love Haribo gummy bears (really gummies of any variety), but I was expecting something a lot more. "Fizzy frozen lemonade" this is not.
So it is with great satisfaction that I appraise my empty 50ml (quite nice) bottle of Guerlain L'Homme Ideal Cologne, and bid it a long overdue farewell.
If you're interested in a summer Guerlain, go with Vetiver/Vetiver Extreme, Homme L'Eau Boisee, or even L'Homme Ideal Cool, which I think is a lot better than Cologne, if not earth shattering.